Category Archives: Foreign Affairs

PSOE add pressure on Rajoy over Sarkozy

President Sarkozy’s earlier comments are still causing a headache for the Government which it could do without. This time, the main opposition party, the PSOE are calling on the Partido Popular to reject the French premier’s words and to call him to task.

Soraya Rodríguez, PSOE spokesman in the Congress of Deputies, called on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to defend Spain and its economy on an international level.

Rodríguez has been quick to capitalise on the discomfort that Rajoy and his colleagues must be feeling about Sarkozy’s blunt turn of phrase. Although public ally they contain to insist the French president means to draw comparisons with the poor economic policies of the previous socialist government, in private many will be wondering why their Conservative cousins and allies in the European Parliament have chosen this difficult time to knock the Spanish economy even further. Many will also be asking why Sarkozy did not chose to air his views on the failure of the previous government ahead of the last election.

Sarkozy stokes the flames

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France (photo: UMP)

As Government ministers in Spain try desperately to combat the pessimism about their country’s economic future, they will no doubt be none too pleased that President Sarkozy of France has today highlighted the Spanish economic crisis as a failure to be avoided.

Sarkozy, who faces the first round of the French Presidential elections in just two weeks, used live television broadcast to attack his political rival, the Socialist Francois Hollande. Sarkozy claimed Hollande would drive France to an economic situation “worthy of Spain, or above all Greece”.

The denigration of the Spanish economy at a time when Government ministers are desperately trying to hold back the tide of market jitters will have not been appreciated in  Madrid. Sarkozy will argue his attack was directed at the socialist model, although his timing will not be viewed as helpful by his fellow conservative and ally Mariano Rajoy.

Government accused of stuffing embassies with “yes-men”

Newspaper ABC carries an interesting story this morning about concerns that the Government has been busy filling up its embassies world-wide with sympathetic ambassadors, to make life difficult for the Partido Popular should they win in November’s General Election.

The paper reports that since September last year 71 new appointments have been made, a dozen of which were made after the announcement by Prime Minister Zapatero that the elections would be brought forward to November.

So many appointments at the fag-end of a parliament has raised eyebrows and led the PP to question whether the Government is trying to tie the hands of an incoming conservative administration.

PP sources told the newspaper that if they win they will study each appointment on a “case by case” basis, and will not hesitate to repeal any appointments that they see fit.

Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiménez (pictured) has expressed her anger at the PP’s complaints, saying that the Government is well within its rights to appoint ambassadors and diplomats at any point of a parliamentary term.